There’s a boy that goes to school (and to daycare) with Tommy. Last year they were the only 2 kids from their daycare to go to afternoon kindergarten at Tommy’s school. Because of this, the 2 of them were together all day. Tommy really wanted for this kid to be his friend. (I still believe that Tommy has difficulty making friends, so anyone who is in close proximity to him earns the label “friend”.) Some days it was as if Tommy worshiped this kid. As a mother, I never cared for how his actions seemed to affect Tommy. How do you tell your 5 year old that his favorite “friend” isn’t a friend at all?? Broke my heart to watch him struggle with this. I felt so helpless. Poor little guy had his first bully. Last spring, I debated about writing a note to request that the two not be placed in the same class the next year. I never did it…decided it wasn’t necessary. Tommy’s “friend” did not attend summer camp with him, and I was relieved. When I learned that their house was on the market, I did a major happy dance. It looked as if we were done with this bully. But I celebrated too soon. August rolled around and I learned that they weren’t able to sell the house. Our “friend” was returning to the school and to the daycare.
This school year has been better, in terms of this “friendship”. The boys are not in the same class, so they only see each other in the lunchroom, on the bus and at daycare. It was not until very recently that we even heard much about him. For the last couple of weeks, Tommy has been complaining about this boy again. He hasn’t really been able to explain to me why/how he’s bothering him. All he wants to tell me is that he wants a break from him. Tommy wants to be as disconnected from this boy as he can be. Yesterday, when I arrived at daycare to pick up Tommy, the other boy approached me and told me that Tommy has been calling him names. I don’t play that game. If something happened between them while they were under the supervision of another adult, then it should be taken up with that adult. If the kids are choosing to come to me instead of going to the teacher in the classroom at the time, they’re trying to be sneaky. Tommy will do this too, so he’s not innocent here. When Tommy greets me with a complaint about something that a classmate did, the first thing I do is to ask if he told the teacher. When this boy approached me today, that’s the same thing I told him. After he spoke with the teacher, we found that this was about something that happened at school. The boy said that he already told the lunch lady. OK…my philosophy here is to let the system work. If the lunch lady felt that the accusation was legit and needed to be addressed, she would have done so. My guess is that the boy didn’t get the response he wanted from the lunch lady, so he brought it back up to rehash it with me. Nothing doing.
I suspect that they were both involved in the name-calling. Tommy has a tendency to repsond with inappropriate intensity when provoked. No, I do not think he’s innocent in this matter. But I can’t go back and figure that out, so we have to move forward and deal with the matter at hand. Tommy is simply not comfortable being around this boy. I wish I could just scoop him up and protect him from this experience. I know that experiencing this will help him to grow and learn, but right now it just breaks my heart to watch him struggle.